Friday, February 29, 2008


In the process of designing our invitations (more on that to come, I promise!), I had some difficulties figuring out colors. I mean, I knew what colors I wanted, but was having a hard time getting what I saw on my computer screen to match with what came from the offset printer.

Cue The New Big Book of Color, which provides numerous designs along with the corresponding RGB (for your computer screen) and CMYK (for offest printing) colors used in the designs.

(available at Amazon)

I spent an hour or so at Barnes and Noble leafing through it, and marking down the RGB and CMYK colors that I thought would work for our invitations. It definitely helped get me on the right track.

What design books have you found helpful while planning your wedding?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Keeping things organized

I need to share with you one of the most amazing organizational tools. Seriously. Shared by some of the awesome women over at Indiebride, it is by far the most comprehensive wedding planning spreadsheet I have seen, complete with formulas to help you calculate total costs and the number of people each person (bride, groom, parents) is inviting.

Here are just some of the features:

Budget- it sure helps to keep track of the costs (and when more payments are due) in one spot.

Floorplan- to help figure out where everyone will sit.

Guest list- everyone's addresses, all in one place.

Other features include a sheet for florist information, a gift tracker, to do list, a savings tracker and a seating chart. I've found it really helpful to have everything located in one file- and it makes backing things up that much easier. This, combined with Miss Daffodil's Wedding Workplan, have been the two tools most frequently used for keeping things organized.

You can download it over at Weddingbee. (And anyone else want to share their organization tips?)

Monday, February 25, 2008

I changed my mind

You may recall my earlier post about our wedding rings. Well, I need to come clean, because those aren't actually our bands. Yes, we did ordered them. But I kept thinking that the 4mm milgrain was too wide, and that the 2mm was too narrow. 3mm would have been perfect, but they just didn't make it that width.

So we (I) decided (why did I do this?) to check out the rings at the ever popular Tiffany & Co. (You might say that this was actually a result of the browsing I did after reading the comments of the earlier post. With so many people getting their rings there, I just had to check it out online. Readers, I think you may be a bad influence on me.)

And what was there, but this lovely ring?

Milgrain wedding band, 3mm

It was perfect. Narrow, but not too narrow. Delicate, but not too delicate. A little bit cheaper than the other ring (since it does, after all, have less metal in it.) And the milgrain is incredibly detailed.

And of course, Calvin decided that he wanted to switch rings as well, so that ours would still match. (This actually meant that his ring was more expensive, but oh well. You only do this once, right?)

Because of the timing (our other rings had not yet come in), we were able to obtain a full refund for canceling the order of our first set of rings. This is one of only a couple of times during the wedding planning where I've changed my mind about something after I've made a purchase. Luckily, in each case, we've been able to make a return for a full refund.

What have you changed your mind about during the wedding planning process? If it was something you purchased, were you able to get a refund?

Friday, February 22, 2008

DIY - Sea Salt Scrub

So I've been trying to take better care of myself lately, especially my skin. As I've mentioned before, I'm fairly breakout prone, on my face, back and shoulders.

Last year, Calvin gave me a spa package for my birthday, and one of the most amazing parts of it was a sea salt body scrub. Afterwards, my skin was much clearer, and softer, which suggests that exfoliation is not overrated at all.

Given that, I wanted to try and get my skin feeling the same way, but as the grad student that I am, resources are, shall we say, limited.

So what's the alternative? Making the sea scrub myself. It's really easy, and it actually makes quite a difference. Here's the recipe I've been using, which is a combination of several recipes I found online.

Sea Salt Scrub
1 c. coarse sea salt
1/2 c. olive oil
several drops of tea tree oil

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour mixture into a sealable container. (I used a clean, empty mason jar.)

It's easiest to use in the shower. Basically, rub it all over your body, and then rinse. Because the oil can leave a fairly strong residue, I use a mild soap after I've rinsed. And as a word of caution- make sure to do this before you shave, and not after, as the salt will (obviously) sting any cuts.

Notes: Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic that helps with the acne; you could use other essential oils, like lavender or rose, if you want something that smells better. You could also use any other type of coarse salt.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The thoughts of an illustrious professor

I had a meeting with a professor this afternoon about my possible dissertation topic, and when I might finish my prospectus (i.e. dissertation proposal.) I casually mentioned that I would either finish it in April, or at the end of the summer, but the month of May was basically out because I'm getting married.

And then he started telling me about his wedding, and balancing families' desires versus the desires of the bride and groom.

(This was a very bizarre situation, because while I like this professor a lot, he's not generally the type to make too much small talk, especially about the more personal sorts of issues.)

He said, "Weddings aren't really about the bride and groom at all. Weddings are about the families."

I'm inclined to agree with him, since it seems like so much of our wedding is to please or satisfy our families. Even though both of us are really happy with how the planning is doing, if it had totally, 100% completely been left up to us, there are some things we would have changed. But I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Do you agree with the statement "Weddings aren't really about the bride and groom at all. Weddings are about the families"? Why or why not?

Friday, February 15, 2008

I've gone and chopped it off

My hair, that is.

You have to understand that my hair fluctuates with considerable regularity between these two lengths.


(taken in Playa del Carmen with my mom last month)
And short:

(Brandenburger Tor about 5 years ago, although my hair has been cut this short 2-3 times since then)

I decided that the ends were looking pretty scraggly- a good indication that it's time for a haircut. Yes, I've been "growing my hair out" for the wedding, but a year and a half ago, it was shorter than the short hair pictured above. Now it's a good inch longer than the long hair picture above. (Yes, my hair grows somewhere in the neighborhood of an inch a month.)

I mean, it was longer than that picture. When I went to the salon today, I said that I wanted to get as much taken off that would still let me have some sort of french twist for the wedding. I came back looking like this.

(FYI: I have no makeup on in this pic. It's not a good representation of what my face generally looks like, but it is a pretty decent pic of my hair.)

Anyone else get their hair cut shorter before the wedding? (And who cut their hair after the wedding?)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Product Review: Facewash

When the new year started, I thought that I would begin to take better care of my skin. I mean, I've been pretty rough on it (salicylic acid and benzoil peroxide, I'm looking at you) and it wasn't helping my acne much at all.

(Yes, I get acne. Yes, I've had acne since I was about 13. Yes, I recognize that this means I've had it about half my life.)

But for the first time, I'm actually winning the war against the acne on my face. Because unlike the Clearasil and Clean and Clear days of my youth when my face extremely oily, I'd noticed that my face, especially my cheeks, are dry.

(Honestly, as a teenage, I never thought that day would come.)

So, I decided to try this:

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

After using it for about 6 weeks, I want to let you know that it works. Seriously. I haven't had any zits/pimples at all on my face since I've been using it (except when I've been traveling and have forgotten it- and then my face reminds me that I should never forget it.) My skin doesn't feel especially dry OR oily, which is pretty much a modern miracle for me.

So now that I've got a good face wash that has done wonders for my skin, I've figured out that I should probably start using some sort of moisturizer as well. Right?

What's your favorite face moisturizer?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Postage Increase...what should I do?

I just saw that the price of a first class stamp is supposed to increase by one cent to $.42, beginning May 12.

Now, the RSVP date for our invitations is May 1, although the wedding date is after the increase. The most logical solution, of course, would be to use the forever liberty bell stamp.

You, liberty bell forever stamp, are just not interesting enough for my invites.

But I would really like to use some of the much more fun looking $.41 stamps. Like any of these:

Star Wars

Tiffany glass


Do you think I should use the forever stamps on the response card envelopes, even though their design is not so cool? Or is there enough time before the postal rate hike to use the prettier, more interesting stamps?

Weekly update?

You may have noticed that I haven't given a weekly update. Well, it's been cold outside. And I've been out of town a lot. And I've been fighting off a cold.

I haven't really exercised much lately. But that's about to change.

You see, Calvin called me this morning to let me know he'd been able to track down this:

Image found here.

This is a BIG deal. We've spent the last 6 weeks trying to track one down, getting up early on Sunday mornings only to be told that we missed our opportunity by 18 minutes. And now, I'll be able to exercise from the comfort of my own home.

Only trick is, I've never actually owned a video game system before (my old school Gameboy is not quite the same), and I'm really bad at video games. I know that Miss Bubblegum, Miss Hummingbird and Mrs. Snow Pea have already blogged about the Wii.

For those of you out there with Wii experience, do you have any tips for me? Anyone want to share their favorite Wii workouts?

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Dear readers,

I need your help.

I'm getting married in t-4 months, and I figured out this week that I haven't given any thought to my veil.

That's not entirely true. I've given a little thought, but not much.

Here's what I know:
I will be wearing a veil for the ceremony, but will not wear it for the reception.
It will be attached to something like this:

I hope my makeup doesn't look like this. Or my hair, for that matter.

Vintage wedding cap available for auction here.

Yes, I know that wedding caps are not at the height of fashion- and I must confess, originally I had not planned to wear a veil. But as my mom is showing me her wedding mementos, she pulls out her (ivory) veil, which is attached to a headpiece very similar to the one above.

It was my mother's. And my grandmother's. And my great-grandmother's.

I have to wear it.

My mom had replaced the lace to match her wedding dress, and I am free to do the same- I'm looking at covering with silk shantung, to match my dress.

My dress.

The question is, though, what to do with the veil part? It looks like I should replace it, since it is quite a bit more ivory than my dress is. I just have no idea how long it should be, or what type. I spent some time looking at, and was thoroughly mystified by the sheer types of veils. Extra fullness? Cascade? Oval cut? Angel cut? I thought the only variables were length and fabric.

To make things even more challenging, the only picture of my dress on an actual bride that I've been able to dig up is found through Etsy seller beadifulthings (who has some really beautiful things in her shop!).

I'm not sure what length the veil is, but it is definitely on the longer side. The ceremony will be in a cathedral, so I could go for the cathedral length veil. I just don't have any real sense of what I want, or what would work with my dress.

What sort of veil are you wearing? What would you recommend for me?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Calvin and Meg's Fun Day!"

We were out to dinner this past weekend with some friends of ours, and the topic of our upcoming wedding came up.

They decided that we are not having a wedding, but rather are having "Calvin and Meg's Fun Day!"

Necessities for "Calvin and Meg's Fun Day!" include the following:

Cotton Candy


Balloon Animals

Funnel Cakes and Elephant Ears

Dunk Tank
- imagine the "trash the dress" possibilities!

Other necessities would be pony rides and a petting zoo.

The honest truth is, for some time we did speculate how all of this would work for our hotel ballroom reception- and we decided that the ponies might have some difficulty with the stairs. Nevertheless, it was fun to think about "Calvin and Meg's Fun Day!" in place of the formal reception that we've got planned.

What does your "alternative universe" reception look like?

Monday, February 4, 2008

The choice is yours....

I must confess- I'm a political junkie.

Not only do I watch the returns for the US presidential primaries come in (on CNN online, since Calvin and I have the most basic cable package ever), but I have watched ::ahem:: caucusing on ::cough cough:: C-SPAN. (That's what happens when you get 10 or so like minded grad students in the room. We're surprisingly apolitical, and spend more time analyzing the analysis- "That's what the polls say, but are they looking at likely voters? In what states? What's the margin of error?"- than we do about rooting for the victory of one candidate over another.)

Needless to say, I am very interested in the results of "Super Tuesday", or if you will, "Super Duper Tuesday." And I'm all for getting people out to vote.

But Brides Decide? Um, no. It just doesn't make sense to me to view "brides" as a specific demographic within the electorate. Gender, race and income- those demographics make sense. But getting married? I see no common thread at all between women getting married, except that they are women.

While the site has some information about the candidates (as well as some wedding pictures; noticeably absent are Barack Obama and John McCain), it just strikes me as, well, a little bit silly. Why would I turn to Brides Decide when I could check out CNN or the New York Times?

And I really disagree with their advice to pay attention to the articles and polls dealing with issues "concerning women voters." First of all, while some issues are often considered women's issues (such as abortion), the ones that the article cites are the war in Iraq, healthcare, and taxes. Last time I checked, those issues were gender neutral.

I don't buy the whole "Bride Decide" thing. But I am incredibly fascinated by politics. So:

Is there anyone else out there more interested in the latest political analysis than invitation colors? (And anyone have any predictions for Super Tuesday?)

Friday, February 1, 2008

I've got to be honest with you...

I've had a lot going on recently.

My heart and head haven't been really into wedding planning mode lately. (Nor, sadly, have they been dedicated to preparing my dissertation prospectus and studying for my last comprehensive exam.)

I've had a lot of family stuff going on, and I don't mean "My FMIL is driving me nuts because I told her to wear a GOLD dress for the wedding and she just purchased a non-returnable $1500 dress in LIGHT TAUPE which everyone knows ISN'T gold and how can I tell her that she is totally ruining my color scheme, my day and my life because her dress will clash with the carpeting of the church."

(Since I know that Calvin's mom follows along in the blog- as I've told you before, feel free to wear whatever color you want.)

No, I mean the more serious sort of things that are completely unrelated to wedding- the really challenging things that no family should face, but sadly, many do.

I guess I'm just asking for moral support (and thoughts/prayers/good vibes for my family), and an understanding if my posting isn't quite as frequent over the next couple of weeks.